In my coaching practice, I am often asked about the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem. Although these two terms are very similar, referring to how we feel about ourselves, they are two different concepts.
Self-esteem refers to how you generally feel about yourself: how much you like or love yourself and the overall image you have about yourself: positive or not. Your self-esteem is shaped by your past experiences and the environment you grew up in: your family members, your school and your community.
Self-confidence is related to how you feel about your abilities and how capable you see yourself of doing certain things or handling different situations.
Is it possible to have one without the other? The answer is yes, and self-confidence can vary depending on the situation.
Here are 6 warning signals of unhealthy self-esteem:
- Holding the belief that loving yourself and putting your needs first is selfish.
- Blaming your current circumstances or your past on other people (It’s their fault, Life’s not fair, People are mean, Nobody will give me anything, No one cares.)
- Having a “victim” mentality: thinking or talking like you’re a victim (How could he do that to me? You hurt me.)
- Being stuck in your comfort zone and resistant to change.
- Denial of issues that feel uncomfortable, avoidance of the truth.
- Critical and disempowering thoughts or words (I’m useless, I’m a failure, I can’t do anything right, I’m not good enough.)
You may not even be aware of these warning signs. Be honest with yourself. Get support, if needed, work with a coach you resonate with if you think that could help. We can only change the things we are aware of.
Here are 12 clear signs of healthy self-esteem:
- Loving yourself as a whole person and knowing your uniqueness allows you to be YOU.
- Being authentic: living without pretending. Staying true to yourself and to what you believe in to be right.
- Not worrying excessively about what others think.
- Taking care of yourself and looking after your own needs rather than pleasing others.
- Having healthy boundaries with other people and treating yourself with dignity and respect.
- Being assertive and speaking up for yourself. Daring to say no to things you don’t want to do.
- Focusing on your life without the need to compare yourself to others.
- Being able to acknowledge and celebrate other people’s achievements.
- Being ok with spending time alone.
- Taking responsibility for the way you feel and for your actions, instead of blaming other people or your circumstances.
- Being open to change what you don’t like in your life and what is changeable.
- Believing that you are lovable and you deserve the best things life has to offer.
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- Posted by Sara Fabian
- On March 4, 2016